UFC lightweight Nate Diaz found out the hard way that the promotion isn't playing around with their newly instituted code of conduct, and a recent Twitter message that contained a homophobic slur cost him $20,000 as a result.
The message was Diaz's response to bantamweight fighter Bryan Caraway receiving a post-fight bonus for Submission of the Night at UFC 159 only after Pat Healy tested positive for marijuana. Diaz used a homophobic slur as part of the message blasted out on the social media site, and it didn't take long for the UFC to take action.
Diaz was suspended for 90-days and faced a stiff penalty for the use of the word.
It marked the third such fine the UFC has handed down since instituting the fighter code of conduct policy (Matt Mitrione was fined an unstated amount for comments about transgender fighter Fallon Fox and Anderson Silva was fined $50,000 for missing a media obligation), and UFC president Dana White wants all of his fighters to know that they will not be easing up so long as misconduct is happening.
"I am fed up with the bulls—t," White said when speaking with the media on Thursday. "Money makes people f—king react real quick. Sorry's great—I love a sorry here and there, sorry's are always good. But when you've got to start forking out some cash, you start remembering a lot more."
Since the fine was handed down, Diaz hasn't responded much outside of another Twitter message aimed at Caraway, this time without the use of a homophobic slur.
Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209
White says he's also heard from many fans and critics reminding him that he said the same word that Diaz used when ranting about a reporter in an infamous video blog from 2009. The UFC president says his verbal slip cost him plenty as well because it's something that continues to haunt him to this day.
"Do you think that I didn't pay in a million different ways for saying that word? The difference is I'm really sorry for saying it," White stated. "I am not a homophobe whatsoever. When I said it, I have people that work for us that are gay, I have friends that are gay, it is a word that bothers them and it's a word that shouldn't have been said. I had the same argument that Nate had, and I don't disagree with that argument."
The argument actually comes from Diaz's manager Mike Kogan who spoke to Bleacher Report about the incident just hours after it happened.
"That one word did not mean homosexual, it was not intended to be homosexual," Kogan stated. "It was not meant to have a homophobic connotation at all. The word for years and years and years also means b—ch, little punk, little whiny, little f—kers. That's what he meant with what he said."
White said that he has no doubt that Diaz probably used the word in that exact context, but it doesn't matter because it's still offensive and it's not an excuse to use it.
"I grew up in the 80's and that was a word you used," White explained. "If you go back and watch Sixteen Candles, that word is in Sixteen Candles. Molly Ringwald says it to Anthony Michael Hall. I was watching another 80's movie the other day where these little kids are saying it. That's the way it was.
"It's not that way anymore. It's an offensive word that they don't like and people want to call it oh we're bowing down to political correctness. No we're not, we're being civil human beings."
Kogan's defense of Diaz was also brought up to White when he was asked if the manager's statement actually did more harm that good in the long run. It prompted White to then detail his opinion of managers in mixed martial arts and the job they provide the fighters.
"Managers are scared s—tless of their clients. No manager wants to come out and say "he was stupid for saying that." You're one phone call away from not working for that guy anymore," White said. "Managers don't matter. Let me put that one out there. I don't give a s—t what they have to say or what they think or whatever. They're puppets."
White had no problem pointing the finger back at himself as well because at one time before he was the president of the UFC he also represented fighters like Chuck Liddell as a manager.
"I was a puppet, too," White said about himself.
When it's all said and done, Diaz will walk away from the situation $20,000 lighter in the wallet whether he likes the fine or not.
While White did apologize for his use of the homophobic slur back in 2009, Diaz has done no such thing since he tweeted out that particular message. While Diaz did eventually delete that particular Twitter message, White says he's not going to force the lightweight fighter to apologize for something he's not sorry about.
"I'm not going to tell grown men to apologize if they're really not sorry," White stated.
Sorry or not, Diaz is still left with a hefty fine to pay and a three month suspension for his actions.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.